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WMIC Abstract

Title: High-Yield, Silver Seed-Mediated Synthesis of Gold Nanoplates for Photoacoustic Imaging Authors: Suraj Makhija1, Geoffrey P. Luke1,2, Justin Harris3 , Kimberly A. Homan3, Stanislav Y. Emelianov1,2 Author affiliations:
1

The Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States.
3

NanoHybrids LLC, Austin, TX

Abstract: Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is an emerging method that has potential to detect cancer in early, localized stages of development. Gold nanoparticles are commonly used as targeted contrast agents due to their inherent stability in cells and high contrast. In particular, triangular gold nanoplates (AuNPs) have shown great promise as contrast agents for PA imaging because of their high optical absorption, tunable optical properties, and minimal toxicity. However, most current methods to fabricate AuNPs either result in substantial amounts of undesired nanospheres or a polydisperse population of AuNPs. We have developed a new high-yield, seed-mediated synthesis method to produce AuNPs. Not only does this method produce an even distribution of AuNPs with a high triangle-to-sphere ratio, but it also sheds light on the mechanisms behind the formation of planar nanostructures. In contrast to previously described methods, the developed procedure templates the growth of AuNPs on silver seeds. Silver exhibits a face center cubic lattice structure that is strikingly similar to gold and promotes the growth of gold atoms onto the silver seed. The protocol begins with the synthesis of silver nanoseeds with inherent structural defects in the lattice structure known as stacking faults. The seed particles were then added to a gold growth solution containing cetyl t,rimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB), potassium iodide (KI), and chloroauric acid (HAuCl4) to initiate the slow, controlled adsorption of gold ions onto the seeds to form the AuNPs. Stacking faults in the seed particles were detected using X-Ray diffraction (XRD) peaks and fast fourier transform (FFT) analysis from high resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images. Forbidden {422} reflections in the FFT and short characteristic peaks in the XRD spectrum at 2 values of 35.61 and 40.87(2.22 and 2.49 ) differentiate the XRD of the seed particles from a typical face center cubic XRD spectrum and can be attributed to hexagonally directed stacking faults. The final particles have a peak absorption wavelength of 800 nm and an average edge length of 80 nm. The peak absorption wavelength of the final AuNPs can be reliably controlled by varying the number of silver seeds, reaction temperature, or concentration of KI. Antibodies can then be directly conjugated to the AuNPs to selectively target specific biomarkers for use in molecular PA imaging applications. The particles were characterized using TEM and Ultraviolet Visible Spectrophotometry (UV-Vis) shown in Figure 1a and 1b, respectively. The TEM images and XRD spectrum show that the silver seeds serve as the point of nucleation for AuNPs and that the inherent

characteristics (i.e., presence of stacking faults) of the seeds play a major role in determining the final morphology of the particles. This ability to control nanoparticle shape for desired properties is paramount in many nanoengineering applications. Proficiency in producing optimal particles for applications will eventually lead to streamlined, cost efficient research in many nanoparticle fields. Figure 1

Supporting Information
Figure 1

(a) Shows total FFT with {422} forbidden reflections (shown in white boxes) of the seed particle. (b). (c) Displays the XRD spectrum of the silver seeds with small peaks at 2 values of 35.61 and 40.87 designated by the black arrows. The forbidden reflections and these two peaks deviate from a normal Ag face center cubic XRD spectrum and are attributed to twin planes and stacking faults leading to the growth of AuNPs.

Figure 2

Figure 2 shows a high resolution TEM image of the silver seed inside an AuNP.